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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I am new to the forum, so nice to meet you all. I am an Australian citizen who spent the last 7 years living in USA. I met my fiance (Monica) in the States. Monica is a USA citizen who was originally born in China. We have both moved back to Australia in July 2017 to start our new lives here. My fiance is currently on a 1 year working holiday visa (subclass 417), which expires July 2018.

My plan is to get married in April 2018 and then apply for Monica's partner visa immediately after getting our marriage papers. I have heard that the visa application process can take up to 12-18 months.

My question is: Will Monica be able to stay in Australia while we wait for her partner visa to process even though her working holiday visa expires in July 2018? I have heard of this thing called a "bridging visa" which sounds like our solution, but the information on the internet is not 100% clear and hence I would like to seek clarification.

Thank you for your help in advance.
 

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Is she on the working holiday visa on her US passport? If so, it is not the 417 but the 462 Work and Holiday visa.

If she applies for an onshore partner visa while in Australia, then she will be issued a bridging visa A grant that will only go into effect once her WHV expires. Until the BVA is in effect, she must comply with her current visa's restrictions, including work restrictions. Once the BVA is in effect, then she will have full work rights.

That BVA will allow her to stay in Oz until a decision is made on her 820/801 application. Keep in mind that once she is on the BVA (as in, it is in effect), she will not have travel rights and should not leave Oz without a BVB in place (which allows a BVA holder to travel temporarily and reenter Oz).

Also, she will be eligible to apply for medicare once she has the Acknowledgement of Application Received email from immigration after applying for the 820/801.
 

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Also keep in mind that you do not need to marry to apply for the 820/801. If you meet the requirements for the visa now as a de facto couple, then you're better off applying sooner rather than waiting to marry. Visas can take a long time and you want to get in the queue (by getting your application in) as soon as you can.

How long have you been together? Did you live together in the states?

Edit: you can still get married while waiting for the visa, you'll just update your immi account with the change once you do. It only takes a few minutes to do so.
 

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Wait times vary so drastically there's no real time to go off of. 820s are currently estimated at 75% processed in 20 months according to the DIBP website. We have seen an 820 grant in 6 months and one in 7 months in the last couple of weeks on this forum, both of which fall into that 75% processed in under 20 months category. Though generally, we've been seeing around 12 months... although recent changes to the way visas are processed may mean quicker processing times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wait times vary so drastically there's no real time to go off of. 820s are currently estimated at 75% processed in 20 months according to the DIBP website. We have seen an 820 grant in 6 months and one in 7 months in the last couple of weeks on this forum, both of which fall into that 75% processed in under 20 months category. Though generally, we've been seeing around 12 months... although recent changes to the way visas are processed may mean quicker processing times.
Hi Skybluebrewer,

Thank you for the fast and insightful reply. Yes, you're right about the 462 visa. Good catch.

We've been together and been living together for almost 3 years. We have evidence to prove defacto. So yes, you are right that technically we can start applying start away on defacto visa. But I heard immigration scrutinizes defacto visa applications more than regular partner visa and it also takes longer. Not sure if this is fact or false rumors

Very comforting to know that she will get a bridging visa (after WHV expires) while partner visa application is processing. We were nervous that she will need to leave the country while we go through the 12-18 month waiting period for processing. That would be a nightmare for us.
 

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I don't know where you heard that de facto take longer than married. I've never seen evidence of that being the case and it is the same visa application regardless of de facto or married.

Another reason not to wait until then seeing how you have the evidence now... they are trying to implenent the process of a sponsor applying first and needing approval, which can come with its own wait time. If that happens and wait times end up being several months, it could be possible that your partner would not have a chance to apply before the 462 runs out and then she may need to go offshore to apply for a partner visa which doesn't come with a bridging visa (only the onshore 820/801 app does). DIBP often implements things without warning.

Benefit of waiting a bit? If you apply with 3 years of evidence of de facto, she would be eligible to be assessed for 801 (PR) at the same time as the 820. So it would be possible, if a CO chooses, for her to get them both at the same time rather than have to play the waiting game of 2-3 more years for PR (eligible two years after the 820/801 app and wait time after eligible is 12-18 months at the moment from what I've seen on here).
 
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